Hermitage Announces Founding Director Rodgers to Retire

Arts & Culture

SRQ DAILY WEDNESDAY PHILANTHROPY EDITION WEDNESDAY MAR 27, 2019

Debbi Benedict, president of the Hermitage Artist Retreats board of trustees, has announced the retirement of Hermitage Founding Executive Director Bruce E. Rodgers, as of December 31, 2019. Rodgers served on the original steering committee organized by the Sarasota County Arts Council and co-founders Patricia Caswell and Syd Adler to restore and adapt buildings into an artist community. After the organization received its not-for-profit status in 2002, Rodgers became a founding trustee.

As the founding director, Rodgers set the operating policies and procedures for the organization and grew its annual operating budget from $80,000 to its current $700,000+ level. He oversaw the completion of the historic campus restoration that was begun by the Sarasota County Arts Council; established the first endowment program; and created many local, regional and national partnerships. In 2008, in partnership with Bob Greenfield, then president of the Greenfield Foundation, Rodgers created the Greenfield Prize at the Hermitage Artist Retreat—a $30,000 prize in the form of a commission for a new work—which raised the organization’s profile to national status.

A search committee, chaired by Englewood businessman David Dignam of Key Agency and comprised of both trustees and community members, has been formed to oversee the national search for the next leader to build on the foundation that has been created.

Hermitage Artist Retreat

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